Netflix Expands to European Markets, Promises New Content

Netflix is making content announcements and pledges ahead of its push into mainland Europe this month. The service has greenlit “Marseille,” its first original series based and produced in France, which the company expects will become one of its biggest new markets. The series is scheduled to begin shooting early in 2015 and will debut on Netflix later in the year. In addition, CEO Reed Hastings told German news magazine Der Spiegel that Netflix would “certainly” produce something in Germany in the future.

netflix6According to Netflix, “Marseille” is “an eight-episode tale of power, corruption and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the French port city.”

France and Germany are two of the six European markets Netflix plans to enter this month as part of its ongoing international expansion, a strategy that is already starting to pay off.

“Netflix added 1.1 million international members in the latest quarter, compared to the 570,000 new streaming customers in the U.S.,” reports CNET. “Moving into new countries abroad is an essential tactic for the California-based company to sustain its growth rate as its wide reach in the U.S. slows down momentum, simply because of its size and the shrinking pool of remaining opportunity.”

Foreign programming is expected to be a major part of Netflix’s efforts. While some media content does well globally, cultural and language differences persist, which could become hurdles without including regional programming.

“The streaming service already operates in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as across Latin America and in Canada,” notes CNET. “Earlier this month, researcher IHS projected Netflix will add 5 to 6 million new subscribers from mainland Europe by the end of the year, which would represent a fifth of its total subscribers at that point.”

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Netflix’s Hastings Makes German Production Pledge, Digital TV Europe, 9/1/14